The hidden work: early career teachers' experiences of becoming teacher

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Petersen, Christie
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As early career teachers traverse the estranging terrain of education, they are situated at a point of confluence where school biography, individual ideas, university education (including the practicum), and other forms of experiences converge, compete, and confound with conceptions of identity and knowledge (Britzman, 2003). This study sought to gain insight into the ways early career teachers navigated the polyphony of knowledge and the tensions that arise from ideological friction as they are (re)constructing their identity(ies) and contingent understandings in the becoming of teacher (Britzman, 2003). The purpose of this study was to investigate how early career teachers grappled with becoming teacher through the entanglement of tensions created when knowledge collides and how this influences their identity(ies) of teacher. This study used a qualitative phenomenological methodology to investigate the lived experiences of six participants who were early career teachers (defined as zero to five years of experience). Data was collected through semi-structured interviews. Findings illustrated the participants’ indirect engagements with teacher identity(ies) and becoming teacher. Consideration is given to the ways in which space can be made for early career teachers to delve into their identity formation.
Teachers, Teaching, Early career teachers, Teacher identity, Poststructuralism, Qualitative research, Phenomenology